Jan. 27th, 2023: What Empathy Really Is: Let the Poets Teach Us
A modern misconception is that empathizing with someone means affirming their desires. However, the Victorian poets demonstrate a different empathy—one that allows us to understand what is human within even wicked characters without affirming their behavior or beliefs. In the exploration of two of Browning’s poems, we learn true empathy, while also coming to the discomfiting awareness of how little may separate us from those with whom we disagree.
Oct. 28th, 2022: Poetry: Dynamite for the Imagination
What power does poetry hold to form the imagination and to direct the human personality? Dr. Anthony Esolen exhorts Christians to take up the poems and songs of their heritage, explaining and demonstrating this power of poetry by presenting two works by Tennyson.
Jan. 28th, 2022: The Art of the Dramatic Monologue
How does a dramatic monologue engage an audience differently and more personally than a dramatic dialogue? Dr. Anthony Esolen explores this question by discussing and analyzing dramatic monologues by Tennyson and others. He concludes with a presentation of his own dramatic monologue.
Nov. 5th, 2021: Dante and True Liberty
True freedom is to be free for something rather than free from something. Dante had it right, and the modern conception of freedom / liberty is a distortion of the Christian notion of freedom going back to St. Paul.